All Talk

Drawing inspiration from Edward Ruscha's Every Building On the Sunset Strip, this artist book accentuates a transcribed dialogue between my father and me on a late car ride home. He frequently takes me home late at night after my visits. The course of the conversation is illuminated through exaggerated typography, intending to convey the emotions of the exchange solely through a single typeface.

As someone who speaks Cantonese as a second language, I've observed the decline of this language, which is becoming less prevalent in the United States and native Cantonese-speaking countries over time. This project also served as a personal endeavor to practice Cantonese, emphasizing the significance of communication across generational gaps. The progression of the conversation is portrayed akin to Ruscha's artist book, following a linear storyline that mirrors the flow of the car ride. 5.5” x 7” on 60lb toned paper.

Oh your car?

We started talking on the subject of cars

Then he said that

When I had free time in the past, I would take up taxi driving.

但係. 你… 你諗嚇.  
When… you think about it 

He was able to acquire a good education right? 

有 qualifications 同埋都叫讀書嘅人
He has qualifications and is considered someone of intelligence

But why is he trying to try all these different things? (Asking why he’s doing things lower than his standards)

You get it?
Mhm mhm.

跟住亞仔咪-  亞細佬咪好鍾意打網球嘅
You know how son- younger brother loves playing volleyball? 

叫 v-volleyball? Volleyyball volleyball? 

Yeah yeah. Thats right.

OK. 咁亞細佬想打喎
Ok. So Douglas wanted to play

So he said, “oh one day let’s bring the whole team and play together,”

大啲 team 帶啲人一齊打啊. 阿Douglas你係咪去啊?
Bring the whole team, and play together, “Did you want to join, Douglas?,”

原來佢係代表香港呢 represent 香港打比賽㗎.
It turns out he represents Hong Kong for volleyball.

No way!

真係呀細佬都知呀. 跟住啊細佬- 
For real! Even Douglas heard him saying that. Then Douglas-

Yes him!!

He is the national volleyball team’s leader for Hong Kong.

係呀! 跟住佢改日細佬買對鞋
Yes him! So then Douglas was buying a pair of shoes, right,

啊細佬對鞋好大對, 買對拖鞋
His shoes are big right, he was buying some sandals instead

跟住佢都冇講, 直至到去到場
And then he didn’t say much, like until they got to the court

I asked Douglas if he played, 

我冇打呀, 佢哋好勁啊. 你明唔明
“No I didn’t play, they were at a high level.” You get it?

即係里講, 呢啲人 真係- 真係
Like his type of personality, 

你真係話佢好 humble? 
You’re saying he’s got a humble personality?

好 humble 此外佢唔係好 high profile
Besides being humble, he’s not a very high profile person

哦, 我識啲乜嘢啊, 嘅方面
Like “Oh, what do I know?” And trying to learn more from different aspects

But he is also very passionate about his work.

I get what you’re saying.

He’s very solid in working. 

有啲人喺度 just talk. Talk 就OK. Right? Verbal 就OK. 但係叫佢實質 -實質 handle 啲嘢- oh mhm OK. 
Some people are all talk. They’re capable of talking and verbalizing it, but when they’re asked to handle it, it’s suddenly not ok. 

但係依個人就調返轉好勁, 你明唔明?
On the other hand, this guy is doing a lot but not verbalizing it. 

It seems like he’s not real, like an actor.

即係佢好有內涵囉, 即係估唔到
He has a lot of self discipline, but no one would have knew. 

I know what you mean.

How do you say this word in English?

我覺得係 humble.
I think it’s humble.

Humble, OK. 即係好犀利囉, 係我估唔到啊.
Humble? Ok. It’s impressive, like no one would’ve guessed it- 
I know what you mean.

Even 你哋讀書呀, 隻係讀書佢又掂喎
Even like school, he has a good education 

跟住出嚟玩Sports— 佢又掂喎.
And even when he does sports, he is good too. 

跟住爹哋想同佢講揸車㗎啦, “我以前揸的士呢, 我一日都搵幾多錢, 我有幾部電腦— 電話.”
Then I wanted to talk about cars, he said ,”I used to drive taxis on my free time and I was surprised how much I could make. I even had several monitors- phones.”

Even 佢係搵食, 都係好投入㗎, 你明唔明呀?
Even when he is trying something new, he’s very engaged no matter what.
Uh huh

即係我會覺— oh-真係好犀利咁嘅情況, 真係. 你有啲人去玩嘅-
It makes me think, oh, this guy is so dedicated. Some people want to just play—

It seems like he was born during a different generation or something. 

Ehhh 佢唔係. 起碼細過我好多啦. 我諗起碼細我哋成30年, 佢好後生, 好 young.
Ehhh he’s not. He’s a lot younger than me. He’s like at least 30 years younger, he’s young. 

佢大你唔係好多咋. 但係個問題— 係呀, 佢大你唔係好多咋. 
He’s not that much older than you. 

我Cing Cing 都唔係大你好多咋嘛.
Yeah Cing Cing is not that much older than you. 

She’s much older than me.

I think she’s about 10 years older only.

10 years is pretty long. 

But— no, 10 years isn’t too long.

但係佢哋個情況就係, 阿Cing Cing同埋佢個男朋友係好 aggressive. 
But the thing is, Cing Cing and him are a very aggressive couple. 

佢哋而家會, plan 去, next year right, plan 咗可能會marry, 可能會有個ceremony. Ceremony?
Next year, right, they might be planning to get married and hold a ceremony. 

咁可能我同媽咪睇嚇會唔會plan 返去. 如果有時間就一齊返囉
We will plan to see if we can go back and attend.

I’m definitely going. 

點都會去? 睇嚇當其時嘅日子係點囉
Definitely? Well we’ll see what date it is. 

但係個問題就係, 佢哋會之後過去澳洲— stay. 到時我哋可以多個choice 哥去澳洲嗰度選擇.
The thing is they might move to another country afterwards. Then we also have the choice to visit them there. 

What is that country in English?